Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by mopeygoff
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
Embarkation went well. After much deliberation, we chose to park at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal lot for $40/day, or 280 for the cruise. We arrived about 11am and within 30 minutes of turning off the car engine, we standing on the ship.
We found the vast majority of the staff to be friendly and helpful. The Main Dining Room staff were helpful and accommodating, but just didn't seem to have the candor and smiles we found on the bar staff and our room steward. We had a couple of minor flubbs in the MDR but nothing insurmountable. Two nights in a row my wife got a chicken dish that was either overcooked and tough, or in the case of the chicken piccata, it tasted like eggs to her. The asian-style dishes were very good, and I didn't have a steak that wasn't tender, juicy, and delicious.
However, overall we found the choices in the complementary food venues to be underwhelming and uninspired. What was available was overall tasty and we are not foodies or anything, but we like to try some new things and new combinations of ingredients when cruising.
The public areas were too, too small. Forget a dip in the pool on the sea days, you can barely get close enough to it much less get in. The hot tubs were lukewarm and almost constantly full anyway. We don't mind kids, but there the hot tubs were mostly full of them being left unattended while mom and dad sat at the bar or sunned themselves. Spice H2O was a little better, but no pool and the last sea day the exhaust from the stack was blowing over the spice area and people were getting covered with little droplets of a black soot/oil substance. We did not experience that on the way down simply because we were double-timing back from Bermuda. We arrived in New York around 1-2am, rather than the customary 5-6am and just sat in port like the Captain had a hot date or something. Slowing down would have probably alleviated this issue.
The atrium shows were fine as long as you got in early. We're not too much in the way of show people so we didn't bother with the shows and such.
Fortunately we got a great deal on an upgrade to a spa balcony via the bidding system so we were able to use the excellent thermal suite to soak and swim in the therapy pool. We enjoyed this immensely and spent time in every room - the saunarium, sauna, steam room, cold room, and salt room as well as using the heated lounges, therapy pool, and small hot tub.
As we have previously visited Bermuda, we chose to go to Horseshoe Bay the first day and I had booked a Resort for a Day with The Elbow Beach Resort prior to embarking. Horseshoe Bay was very, very crowded, so we just dropped our stuff and jumped in the water for a bit. We took the bus to get there and hopped a minibus to get back (so we didn't have to climb the hill). So it was about $12 round trip. To get to Elbow Bay we took a cab from the pier for about $50. Expensive, but our driver was super friendly and gave us a little tour on the way. We chatted about life on the island and learned a great deal about Bermuda on the way. We thought it was worth it. On the way back, we got lucky and managed to hitch a ride on a minibus with a fellow who was going to Hamilton and then agreed to take 6 of us back to the port for $8 per person. He also gave us a tour and took us along some of the back roads back, so we got to see parts of Bermuda that a lot of tourists don't see, so that was neat.
The third day we just puttered around the dockyard and bought souvenirs and such. Overall, we found the locals to be very pleasant and helpful.
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